Kukla's Korner Hockey
Gary Thorne and Barry Melrose of ESPN discuss the Minnesota Duluth and Michigan victories last night.
from David Albright of ESPN,
Two of college hockey’s most storied programs, Michigan and North Dakota, will face off against each other in the prime-time matchup Thursday (ESPN2HD and ESPN3.com, 8:30 p.m. ET).
The other two teams skating here, Minnesota-Duluth and Notre Dame (ESPN2HD and ESPN3.com, 5 p.m. ET), are looking to become the 18th different school to skate around with the plaque.
Here are five key questions heading into the national semifinals.
1. Can North Dakota (32-8-3), the lone remaining national seed, be stopped?
The numbers say no, but logic says maybe. The Fighting Sioux are 14-0-1 since their last loss way back on Jan. 28. And over that stretch UND has outscored its opponents 78-19, including 12-1 in the NCAA tournament. Dave Hakstol’s club is second in the nation in scoring at 4.14 goals per game, third in goals against at 2.14 per game and second in scoring margin (2.00).
“I don’t know if we can match North Dakota’s speed or skill,” Michigan coach Red Berenson said. “And I don’t think anyone’s found a way to take that out of the game. We just have to be ready to play in a game that might be footrace hockey, or it might be a special-teams game.
“They have the edge in special teams and they have the edge on offensive skill. They’re as good as it gets, and they’ve had that kind of season.”
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
Stephane Da Costa is flying to Toronto on Monday morning. By Wednesday, he should have a new home.
Da Costa, 21, is a free agent after leading Merrimack College to its best season in school history. It ended Saturday with a heartbreaking 4-3 overtime loss to Notre Dame in the NCAA playoffs. But that doesn’t mean he is done for the year.
CBA rules indicate he must sign a multi-year contract with his new NHL team. But if he gets into a game before the end of the regular season, he’ll burn one of those years.
Da Costa is headed to Newport Sports, where his agents, Wade Arnott and Ed Ward, will begin fielding offers. While Arnott confirmed that process begins Monday, he didn’t really want to go much further. From talking to several sources, here’s some idea of how it will play out:
A pair of CCHA-WCHA matchups are in the works for the 2011 Frozen Four in St. Paul, Minn.
And if history holds any weight, the CCHA teams have the advantage.
Notre Dame and Minnesota-Duluth will play in one national semifinal on Thursday, April 7, and Michigan and North Dakota will square off in the other.
The Irish and the Wolverines both hold the lead over their upcoming opponents in the series records.
Michigan takes on Nebraska-Omaha in the first round of the West Regional semi-finals in St. Louis.
Game goes into OT and here is the result…
Not the best of video and no sound, but you’ll still get the picture.
From State College.com:
Athletic directors across the Big Ten plan to recommend that men’s ice hockey be established as an official conference sport, the Big Ten announced Monday.
In a press release issued at 1 p.m., the Big Ten reported that athletic directors at Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State and Wisconsin intend to make the recommendation in June. The recommendation will go before the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors.
It will suggest that men’s ice hockey become an official conference sport effective with the 2013-14 academic year—with participation from all the universities noted above, according to the press release.
The NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Committee has selected the 16 teams that will be participating in the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship.
The championship playoff format involves four predetermined regional sites with four teams assigned to each site. The four regional winners advance to the Men’s Frozen Four. The entire championship uses a single-elimination format.
Automatic qualification privileges are granted to the postseason champions of five conferences. The remainder of the field is selected at-large.
Yale University was the No. 1 overall seed. The other No. 1 seeds, in order, included the University of North Dakota, Boston College and Miami (Ohio) University.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Ex-Whaler goalie and longtime broadcaster Greg Millen, now 53, believes that US college scholarship opportunities will be drying up for Canadian players.
In Millen’s view, because the US is developing top talent from nontraditional hockey areas (e.g. California, Texas), more of those kids will snag American scholarships. Ergo, more Yanks, fewer Canadians.
The good news, said Millen: better homegrown talent available for Canadian universities, in turn providing a boost to that system.
Millen could prove prescient, but according to Paul Kelly, head of Newton-based College Hockey Inc., there is no indication at the moment that Division 1 US colleges have sated their desire to stock rosters with the best Canadian boys.
more plust other hockey notes…
from the Detroit News,
A record-setting crowd attended the outdoor hockey game at Michigan Stadium on Saturday, according to Guinness World Records.
The question now is: What will be the official attendance count?
When Michigan defeated Michigan State 5-0, the university announced an unofficial crowd of 113,411 in the third period. That figure easily broke the old record for highest attendance at an ice hockey game, set when 77,803 attended this year’s International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship game in Germany.
Still, Guinness record manager Mike Janela, who attended Saturday’s game, said in an e-mail to The Detroit News on Tuesday he still was awaiting the official number.
“We are still awaiting further information, such as verified lists of other eligible, non-ticketed spectators such as the marching bands and special guests of the university,” Janela said. “As such, we do not have a final official number yet and, unfortunately, may not for a couple more weeks as we await everything.
from Dave Vest of Coyotes.com,
“The Big Chill” was really cool.
That’s how Coyotes prospect Chris Brown explained his experience on Saturday when he and his teammates at the University of Michigan hosted rival Michigan State in an outdoor game staged at the Big Ten school’s storied football stadium in Ann Arbor….
“I didn’t think there was going to be 113,000 people at the game,” said Brown, a sophomore forward whom the Coyotes selected with the 36th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. “I thought we’d get 100,000 but I didn’t project over that. I thought the cold weather would keep some people away, but there was actually 113,411 people and you could feel all of them there. When we scored, fireworks went off and you just heard this roar from all the fans.”
Brown said it was a special day on campus.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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